TrailOff – captivating stories as you walk

by Echoes Labs

location: Pennsylvania, USA

project type: bespoke mobile app

client: Swim Pony

"We were extremely grateful to work with Echoes on TrailOff, a project with ambitious creative goals that required a careful and collaborative tech partner.

With an artwork aimed specifically at exploring the potential of narrative storytelling through geolocative audio, Echoes had the expertise to help us implement our concept and troubleshoot throughout the process

Josh took the time to understand the nuance of our creative goals and consistently found ways to help us achieve them. Their platform was also easy to learn and intuitive to use. Their care and attention shine through in the final product.

Can't recommend them enough."


Adrienne Mackey │ Swim Pony


TrailOff is an audio storytelling app that puts YOU in the center of the drama! Get out onto a trail and let a 360° world swirl around you. Literally step into the shoes of characters as they run from monsters, uncover clues to mysteries or adventure into unknown secrets from the past.

TrailOff uses your phone’s technology to transport you into an augmented reality world that syncs to your movements as you walk a trail. Each story is uniquely crafted for its site, written by incredible local authors who will explode the way you think about taking a walk outside. This is NOT your grandma’s nature trail!

Created by Swim Pony and the PA Environmental Council, this FREE project aims to diversify the stories we imagine when we think about the environment.


Our role

Swim Pony tasked us with a rebuild of their TrailOff app, a complex and broad-ranging series of audio trails across Pennsylvania. The app featured a large number of challenges, both in terms of design and functionality. Each trail features a distinct, interconnected series of pieces of audio, triggered based on the current circumstances. The core features are all location triggered, but we also pushed the boundaries with weather-dependent audio and other types of custom logic.

The result is an arresting and dynamic series of truly impressive audio experiences which challenge the listener to become part of the adventure as they take the trail.

Swim Pony took advantage of scripting their experiences to push the limits of what is possible with app-based audio adventures. The results show for themselves – truly great audio pieces that will stand the test of time.